After an 11-year run as the host of Nashville’s Morning News, broadcast giant Cumulus Media and Ralph Bristol have parted ways.
Bristol posted a lengthy statement on his Facebook page:
GOOD MORNING NASHVILLE, IT’S….OVER
Cumulus Media terminated my employment today due to irreconcilable editorial differences. We cannot agree on what information and communications should be kept private and which should be hashed out publicly. Since I won’t abide by their rules, they will not abide by my continued employment.
Please know first, I am not sad or angry. And I have nothing to fear, financially or otherwise. I’m free, happy and as blessed as ever.
As I leave the radio, I want to thank a bunch of people, including, but not first, those who fired me, and it’s probably best that I didn’t do this on the air because you’ve heard enough of this particular grown man cry, and I tend to get emotional when I say nice things about people.
I’d like to start by thanking my “Gang of Four,” Doogie Vance, Ken Weaver and Chris Weber, who along with me, have solved all of mankind’s important problems during a daily segment that started many years ago as a traffic segment, which pretty much describes most of mankind’s important problems.
My warmest hug is reserved for the sales department, and especially Laura Munsey, who single-handedly put at least 1 ½ of my granddaughters through college. All of you have been priceless in finding sponsors who could live up to my demanding specs, and sometimes I have been a pain in the ass about those specs. I hope the pain was worth it.
My dear friend, Michael DelGiorno, is responsible for more stories and for helping me learn how to tell a better story (which has and will continue to translate into happiness) than any human being in my life, and for that I will always cherish him. Michael and I know things about each other from the stories we told during our golfing days that Fusion GPS would pay dearly for if we were running for President. Some of those things are even true.
Despite my fondness for all of the above, the most important people in my professional life have always been my sponsors, the local businesses who paid me to give them my personal recommendation to my thousands of radio friends. In the most productive years of my life, half or more of my income was produced by the 60 second stories I told daily about the local businesses who convinced me they would provide good value to my audience, with a combination of price, service, quality, or all of the above, and above all – reliably live up to the promises I made on their behalf.
With rare exception, for nearly 22 years, scores of business have lived up to that standard and allowed me to say, without fear of contradiction that I believe everything I say, on all subjects, all the time.
To all Cumulus employees and management, thank you for being reliable and dedicated partners in our mutual journeys. There have been numerous occasions when I have felt happily compelled to inform our managers of your efforts I thought went beyond the ordinary.
And finally, a very big hug to my audience, my “stranger friends,” many of whom have become real friends, including one who has become my best friend. It was from my radio audience that I picked my wife, Marianna, in my first year as a talk show host, in Greenville, SC.
I also can’t forget the many elected officials who have accepted my invitations over the years to visit with me, on the air, about a plethora of local, state, national and international issues. I would be short-changing them if I did not give them credit for some of my most substantive civic accomplishments by giving me a seat at the debate table, especially on major state tax issues.
And, while I have irreconcilable differences with them today, I want to thank Cumulus Nashville for providing me this rare opportunity for the past 11 years. These years have been responsible for more of my happiness, confidence and security than all of the 57 years prior, and I would not have any of that were it not for company that fired me today.
I have no hard feelings whatsoever.
I will soon tell a more complete story of the reason for our irreconcilable differences, but for now, the most important things to assure everyone there is no crisis, no pain, no anger and no sadness that needs attending.
I might, however, throw a party….stay tuned.
Ralph Bristol has enjoyed a broadcasting career spanning nearly four decades. He joined WTN in 2007 as the host of Nashville’s Morning News, and for more than 10 years, claimed the top-rated morning drive political talk show in Tennessee’s largest radio market.
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